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What could top bike poker? Try a chain-free mountain plunge

May 21, 2006|Blake Hennon

Crested Butte, Colo.

June 19-25: Fat Tire Bike Week welcomes cyclists of all skill levels to its 26th annual festival. Pedal through wildflower fields, past rocks and around the mountain on guided tours. On June 23, take the chain off your bike and don a costume for the New Belgium Chainless -- a ride free fall from the 9,980-foot top of Kebler Pass. On June 19, play poker on a bike (seriously). There's an easy mountain-biking trail for kids and bike-decorating sessions as well.

Locations around Crested Butte. $20 per day, $90 for seven-day pass. (800) 545-4505,


Hardin, Mont.

June 22-25: Witness Custer's last stand as 245 reenactors and 80 horses bring the Battle of the Little Bighorn to life on its 130th anniversary. On June 22, before the battle, see George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libby, enjoy a last dance at the 1876 Grand Ball, but be sure to come in period-appropriate attire. (This year marks the debut of a new general, actor Lonnie Custer, whom director Barbara Frickle hears is "part of the Custer family.")

The battle is scripted from notes by a Crow tribal historian and tells the story from the American Indian perspective. It is one of America's top 100 events, according to Destinations magazine.

No video cameras are allowed, but you can purchase a video of the reenactment. There are also parades, dancing lessons and museum exhibits.

Performances at 1:30 p.m. June 23-25, plus a 5 p.m. show June 24. $16, $7 for children, 5 and younger admitted free. Take the Hardin exit off Interstate 90 and follow the reenactment signs. (888) 450-3577, Grand Ball at Big Horn County Fairgrounds, off I-90, Exit 497. Period participants, $15. Observers, $5. (406) 665-2559,


Vancouver, Canada

June 23-July 2: This year, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival pays tribute to New Orleans with a performance teaming Allen Toussaint and his New Orleans Horn Section with Elvis Costello and the Imposters (June 26), as well as shows by Tony Bennett (June 28), the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (June 30), Dr. John (July 1), Neko Case (July 2) and more.

Venues around Vancouver. Shows are individually priced, but packages are available. (888) 438-5200,

-- Blake Hennon

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